After reading The White Tiger, I became interested in Indian history, specifically the Partition, the withdrawal of the British from their most valuable colony and the subsequent divvying up of the Indian subcontinent.
There have been other books written about the 1947 Partition of India, notably Freedom at Midnight, but in Indian Summer Tunzelmann adopts a more Vanity Fair approach, which in no way negates the accuracy of her scholarship. Rather she also offers unvarnished and rather sly portraits of the people behind the legends:
Pious Mohandas Gandhi, alienated from his children and whose stubbornness botches many opportunities for a peaceful resolution; Dickie Mountbatten, the last viceroy, also known as “The Master of Disaster”; Edwina Mountbatten, his rich, frustrated, and indefagable wife; and Jawaharlal Nehru, in some ways more British than the British, and in love with Edwina.
These eccentric, ambitious souls end up on the same stage for the biggest peacetime land swap the world has ever seen. Indian Summer covers this fascinating and tragic period with novel-like readability.